50 years since we final stepped foot on the moon
If you happen to have been born after December 14, 1972, no human has stepped foot on the moon in your lifetime. The ultimate crewed mission to land on the moon, Apollo 17, left there 50 years in the past at present. Gene Cernan, the final particular person to the touch the moon’s floor, spoke these phrases earlier than departing:
As I take man’s final step from the floor, again dwelling for a while to return (however we consider not too lengthy into the longer term), I’d like to only say what I consider historical past will document: That America’s problem of at present has cast man’s future of tomorrow. And, as we go away the moon at Taurus-Littrow, we go away as we got here and, God keen, as we will return: with peace and hope for all mankind.
Future missions to the moon
With Artemis 1 efficiently launching into lunar orbit and returning safely, we’ve lastly begun to take steps towards the longer term that Cernan and so many others envisioned.
The subsequent a part of the Artemis program – Artemis 2 – shall be a crewed mission. It’ll comply with within the footsteps of Artemis 1 by orbiting the moon with people aboard. Not till Artemis 3 will people return to the lunar floor. Artemis 2 will seemingly fly in late 2024 or early 2025. And when will Artemis 3 fly? It’s at the moment scheduled for 2025, however most anticipate these timelines to shift additional into the longer term.
SpaceX can be planning to ship people to orbit the moon. Their mission, referred to as dearMoon, would final for a couple of week and are available inside 125 miles (200 km) of the lunar floor. SpaceX announced the crew of 11 for the dearMoon mission in early December 2022. Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa bought all of the seats and has chosen all artists to fly with him to the moon.
The SpaceX situation for its first moon mission is paying homage to the film Contact, the place Jodie Foster’s character Ellie Arroway tries to explain her journey via a wormhole into area however whispers:
They need to’ve despatched a poet.
However, whether or not NASA reaches the moon first, or SpaceX, it ought to solely be a couple of extra years earlier than people as soon as once more step foot on the moon. When it occurs, nonetheless it occurs, the world shall be watching with, as Cernan stated:
… Peace and hope for all.
Backside line: It’s been 50 years since people final stepped foot on the moon. The Apollo 17 astronauts left the lunar floor on December 14, 1972.